Family Travel: What to Do in Shivamogga
I once accompanied my friend Ramesh's family to Shivamogga. Myself, Ramesh, his wife Sunanda and their son Raghu reached Shivamogga on a beautiful evening.
We were having breakfast at 9.00 am the next day. “I don’t like waterfalls,” came the wail when I broke the news that we would be spending the afternoon at Jog Falls.
"We can’t come all the way to Shivamogga, with all these wonders of nature, and not even see a waterfall," I pleaded. "Trust me, it's superb."
So, we headed for Jog Falls, the second highest (253 meters) plunge waterfalls in India. After enjoying breathtaking views of the magnificent waterfall with the family for sometime, I read my book "Designing Destiny - The Heartfulness Way" under a parasol. I was glad to see the three of them enjoying themselves.
Eventually they returned, having had such a good time that Raghu would not sit even for a moment. “I don’t want to leave this place,” came the wail when it was time to go.
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary
"Is there a bird sanctuary nearby? I love watching birds" said Sunanda. "Ok. Today we'll visit Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary. It's around 32 kilometers from here" said Ramesh.
Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary is an island that spans an area of 1.14 acres. It is surrounded by forest and River Tunga.
We all had an absolute blast at this bird sanctuary, which is home to around 5,000 birds. Views and sounds of many birds and the roaring River Tunga were wonderful. Darters, median egrets, and cormorants were in abundance here.
We could also see maiden egret, pied kingfisher, wooly neck stalk, night herons and open-billed storks. "Oh my God! I could spend all my life on this watch tower" gushed Sunanda. We all enjoyed boating immensely.
I have never been good at hanging out by the pool, but from the moment we arrived at our hotel Raghu was desperate to spend the whole time there. He spent most of the time in the hotel splashing around the pool.
Have you visited Shivamogga?
Sakrebyle Elephant Camp
Raghu loves all animals but his favorite is elephant. Imagine his happiness when he saw many elephants at the Sakrebyle Elephant Camp enjoying snacks and playing in the backwaters.
This forest camp for captive elephants is around 14 kilometers from Shivamogga on the Shimoga-Thirthahalli Road. It is located on the banks of River Tunga.
It was fun to watch elephants spray water on each other. Raghu enjoyed his time at this eco-tourism center very much.
Tiger and Lion Safari
“Amma, why do you keep saying: ‘Oh, God’?” Raghu asked Sunanda. “And why are you holding me so tight?” "Because I’m so excited," replied Sunanda; she loves wildlife.
We were at the Tyavarekoppa Lion and Tiger Reserve. Located around 10 kilometers from Shivamogga, this wonderful reserve covers an area of around 200 hectares.
It was established to rehabilitate lions and tigers that are rescued from circuses across India. It houses lions, tigers, leopards, sloth bear, deer and many other birds and animals.
"Let's visit a temple," said Sunanda.
We were at the Shiva temple at 6.45 pm. Located in Gandhi Bazar, KR Puram, Shivamogga, this beautiful temple not only offers you Darshan of Lord Shiva and serene atmosphere, but also gives you an excellent opportunity to enjoy delicious South Indian food.
Government Museum (Shivappa Nayaka Palace)
"Have you been to the Shivappa Nayaka Palace sir?" asked the receptionist. "Not yet" replied Ramesh. We left for the museum after breakfast.
Named after the popular 17th century king Shivappa Nayaka of the Keladi Nayaka dynasty, this museum is located in K R Puram. This two storied building is built of rosewood.
The museum houses sculptures, inscriptions and hero stones from the Hoysala era and later periods.
© 2019 Srikanth R